INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Members of the LGBT community are welcoming changes to RFRA. At the same time, religious leaders say it should be left alone.
Both groups are strongly committed to their beliefs. Although they are very different, they do have one thing in common: protecting themselves from what they believe is discrimination.
It was a media circus at the statehouse Thursday morning as news organizations from around the country circled around one man, Eric Miller, one of the driving forces behind RFRA.
“I think it’s fantastic. It’s an opportunity to let a national audience know about how wonderful Indiana is and the truth about this law,” said Miller.
Miller, of Advance America, which describes itself as a pro church organization, is against a change to the original law.
“It shouldn’t be amended. The problem is not in the language in Senate Bill 101. It’s the way it’s been mischaracterized around the state and around the nation,” said Miller.
Freedom Indiana is trying to put a stop the law before it goes into effect on July 1st. Campaign manager Katie Blair disagrees with Miller.
“I read the bill in its entirety, backwards and forward several times. This isn’t a perception problem. This isn’t a miscommunication,” said Blair.
Although Blair supports changes to the law, she said much more needs to be done.
“It’s a step in the right direction. I think everyone will be appeased when full protections are extended to LGBT individuals,” said Blair.
Freedom Indiana won’t stop, Blair said, until all Hoosiers get full protection against discrimination.
“This is the work I do and it affects my life. I am a lesbian and I’m living in Indiana. So, this could potentially discriminate against me,” said Blair.
But discrimination is what Miller said is what religious groups face.
“Hoosiers care about everybody. They love everybody. That’s our heritage. But don’t force somebody to violate their religious beliefs,” said Miller.
Freedom Indiana has asked people not to boycott Indiana, but instead, take a stand against RFRA. Advance America wants to make it clear; RFRA does not allow refusing service in all settings, but rather, settings that would conflict with religious beliefs.